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Family and Medical Leave Act Archives

Protecting your rights: do you know what you don't know?

If we step back and look at employer-employee relationships in Wisconsin for the past century, the obvious good news is that through a combination of federal and state legislation passed over the years, as an employee you have more rights and more protections today than ever before. But sometimes this progress can be more than a little confusing. You now have a plethora of statutory and regulatory protections that range from protecting you against discrimination in hiring, to ensuring that you have a safe place to work and are not subject to discrimination on the job, to rights that are available when you have changed family circumstances, and rights against being terminated unfairly.

Same-sex spouse definition under FMLA rule on hold

Wisconsin employees may have heard about a federal rule that was to become effective on March 27 that allowed employees to take FMLA leave in order to care for a same-sex partner, regardless of whether or not same-sex marriage is legal in the state. On April 6, it was reported that a Texas federal judge granted an injunction to stop enforcement of the rule.

FMLA definition now includes same-sex couples

People in Wisconsin might be interested to learn of the recent Department of Labor announcement that same-sex married couples will now enjoy the same protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act as do heterosexual couples. With the update in guidelines, same-sex couples will now be able to take leave to care for a sick spouse, including those living in states that do not recognize the institution.

Family and Medical Leave Act and workplace discrimination

The Family and Medical Leave Act is the first and only federal law that addresses the balance between jobs and family that workers in Wisconsin and across the U.S. must maintain. The 12 weeks of unpaid leave guaranteed by the act has been used more than 200 million times since being passed. Reasons for taking leave vary, including recovering from a serious illness, caring for a loved one who is ill or receiving maternity or paternity leave.

Comparing federal and state family and medical leave laws

Wisconsin employees may be interested in information about how the federal and state laws governing medical and family leave differ. Depending on the strength of each law in a particular area, different provisions could apply. Any time a Wisconsin state family and medical leave law provides greater protection than the federal law, an employer in Wisconsin must abide by the stronger state law. Employers who are covered by both state and federal lawmust continually comply with both. The requirement for employer coverage under Wisconsin law is that there must be at least 50 permanent employees over at least 6 months during the past year. The federal requirement is the same regarding the number of employees, but it must be for at least 20 weeks over the previous or current year.

Intermittent leave and reduced schedules under the FMLA

Wisconsin workers who are covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 may be eligible for leave under certain circumstances. For example, if certain requirements are met, a worker may be able to seek a reduced schedule or intermittent leave without fear of retaliation if the worker or the workers family suffers from certain medical conditions.

Worker protections under FMLA

Under the Family Medical Leave Act, qualified employees in Wisconsin may take unpaid leave in certain situations. Employers are not allowed to take any action that may abridge, deny or otherwise make it not possible for an employee to take leave if they are eligible to do so. Furthermore, employers are not allowed to take any type of retaliatory action against any employee who exercises his or her rights under the act.

What are the requirements for the FMLA?

Employers in Wisconsin with 50 or more employees are required by state and federal law to grant their employees medical leave in certain situations. The Family and Medical Leave Act was passed by Congress in 1993, and the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act added to and amended certain provisions of the federal law.

Wisconsin laws could be effected by pending Supreme Court case

Wisconsin workplace pregnancy discrimination laws have the potential to be effected by a case that is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. A woman's lawsuit against UPS for placing her on unpaid leave instead of putting her on light duty during her pregnancy will be heard by the court, according to reports.

Are there any exceptions in regards to the FMLA?

New Wisconsin mothers who seek time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act may find that exceptions in the existing legislation provide their employers with various legal grounds to deny them benefits. Although this law ostensibly guarantees 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new parents of both genders, employers can potentially avoid their obligations in a number of ways.

Alan C. Olson & Associates | 2880 S Moorland Rd | New Berlin, WI 53151
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